It’s a Very Kung Fu Christmas

Posted: December 9, 2011 by tmepost in Movies

By Sean McQuillan
I know that “Tis the Season to be Jolly, Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to Men” and all that, but this holiday season I want to get a little cathartic and give you a list of some great Kung Fu movies. These make awesome gifts and isn’t this the season of giving? These are not going to be in any particular order, so don’t get offended if you’re a fan of one I didn’t include. Just include it in the comments below for all to enjoy! So without further ado, let’s kick off our KUNG FU CHRISTMAS!

Fist of Legend
This 1994 Jet Li film is a loving remake of Bruce Lee’s 1972 Fist of Fury. This movie follows a Chinese student Chen Zhen as he must return to China during Japan’s occupation and avenge the death of his master by the hands of a Japanese Army-backed Dojo. Sounds average enough as Kung Fu plots go, but the fight scenes are anything but. This is the movie I tend to break out when I want to introduce people to the awesome of Kung Fu movies. Fist of Legend hits the ground running and keeps the action high with scenes like this one:

I’m going to avoid posting the end fights of any of these films, but don’t spoil yourself with Youtube. Gift a copy of this to a friend and sit down and take a shot (Of Eggnog of course) every time Jet Li takes out 5 or more people in a single shot.

Fun Fact: This film inspired the Wachowski Brothers to hire choreographer Yuen Woo-ping for the fight scenes in The Matrix.

The Protector (Tom-Yum-Goong)

This film has a lot of names.  Most people in America know it as The Protector, not to be confused with Jackie Chan’s The Protector, and in the UK it was called The Warrior King, Thai Dragon in Spain, and Revenge of the Warrior in Germany.  Those are really deep names for a movie that is really about a boy and his elephant.

They're like beloved family jungle gyms.

It follows a simple formula: Man has elephant, people steal elephant, man kicks the ass of every man that so much as looked at his elephant until he’s in Sydney Australia fighting Pro Wrestler types, a Capoeira master, and it just gets better from there.  This movie has some truly gratifying fight scenes including one towards the end in which, well I won’t spoil it.  Let’s just say that if you took a shot every time he broke some one’s bone you’d have so much holiday cheer you would wake up in a strange house wondering where you got the Santa outfit.

Ip Man 1 & 2

Donnie Yen’s entry into this list, and is certain to convert many fans.  It follows the life of Ip Man, a grandmaster of Wing Chun and master of Bruce Lee.  Ip Man is an amazing movie and, while I do love it, I’m gonna get a little blasphemous and say I loved the sequel even more.  I’m sure it’s partially due to my love of Sammo Hung, but really this movie balances some intense action and really good storytelling.  This is not a throwaway plot like some flicks, this one might bring a manly tear to your eye as you see Ip defend the honor of a nation from a French boxer.

This man want to do terrible things to your China.

Chocolate

No, not the Johnny Depp movie.  This 2008 flick has an interesting protagonist, a young autistic girl Zen.  The plot can get a little hard to condense, but let’s just say she’s kicking ass to get her mum’s cancer treatment money.  Zen has the uncanny ability to instantly learn and copy moves she sees in Kung Fu movies as well as the Muay Thai kickboxing school next door.  This movie is unlike any other, and this movie has some of the most painfully real stunt work.  You’ll find yourself horrified at not only this young woman went through, but what she put her opponents through.

First Strike

At last we have a Jackie Chan flick.  There are so so many awesome movies to choose from, Drunken Master, Police Story, Super Cop, that you might wonder why I’m choosing First Strike.  While Tony Jaa may use an elephant as a jungle gym Jackie has been making a career out of using the entire world as his.  Cars, clothes, Jackie even uses his own opponents sometimes.  First Strike has what I like to call the “Ladder Scene”  Normally I wouldn’t show you what I find to be the best part, but it’s far from the only good scene in that movie.  Give it a watch and see why Jackie would make the World’s deadliest janitor.

So I hope this has got you in the holiday season.  You don’t need a special occasion for these movies, but with it being the time for sharing, I humbly suggest these films as great holiday gifts.  If you time it right you could have a marathon of these films on New Years!

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